Fleming Building, RIP

Postcard of the Fleming Administration Building

No, it wasn’t designed as a fortress against student radicals. But it could have been, based on architect Alden Dow’s ‘Michigan Modern’ aesthetic. The administration’s homely headquarters has gained few admirers since opening in 1968; now it’s staring down the wrecking ball.

  1. Communities for cognitive aging: How neighborhoods may protect the cognitive health of older Americans

    A trio of U-M studies shows that urban and suburban neighborhoods that provide opportunities for socialization, physical activity, and intellectual stimulation may help preserve older adults’ cognitive health.

  2. U-M’s Raoul Wallenberg Fellowship celebrates a decade of ‘transformational experiences’ abroad

    The fellowship has become one of the most prestigious self-designed, independent study-abroad projects for students. From Kenya and India to South Africa and Peru, nine U-M graduating seniors — one each year since 2013 — have immersed in a new culture and academic experience.

  3. Solar cells with 30-year lifetimes for power-generating windows

    A new transparency-friendly solar cell design could marry high efficiencies with 30-year estimated lifetimes, which may pave the way for windows that also provide solar power. The high-efficiency but fragile molecules for converting light to electricity thrive with a little protection.

  4. Dementia’s toll on US

    U-M study shows major gaps in who gets care that could help them remain at home. Black, low-income, or people with lower levels of education are less likely than their counterparts to have available spouse caregivers, but more likely to have adult children available to provide care.

  5. Cutting through the confusion about kids, teens and COVID-19 exposures

    It’s pretty confusing to be a parent of a school-age or preschool child right now. Here is your handy guide to quarantine, isolation, and more, based on the latest science.

  6. XR technology ‘brings’ conference goers to iconic U-M space

    As the Center for Academic Innovation prepared for its first annual XR Summit, organizers had an idea: create a virtual representation of the Diag for people to meet, using the technology that was the focus of the event. So cool.

Spectrum Center: 50 and Fabulous

In 1971, U-M opened the first center for the lesbian and gay community on a college campus. With sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression as its framework, the Spectrum Center staff strives for an inclusive campus community where social justice inspires engagement and equity. (All photos courtesy of the Spectrum Center.)

  • Love does win

    On Sept. 25, The Michigan Marching Band marked the 50th anniversary of the Spectrum Center’s founding with an uplifting halftime program during the Rutgers game. They opened the show with Diana Ross’ 1980 disco classic, “I’m Coming Out.”

    Marching band forms the words Love Wins
  • Pride outside

    Contemporary students are able to celebrate “Pride Outside” because of Spectrum Center founder Jim Toy. In 1972, Toy co-authored the “Lesbian-Gay Pride Week Proclamation,” making the Ann Arbor City Council the first governing body of its kind in the nation to officially recognize Gay Pride.

    Students sit on the lawn to hear speakers at Gay Pride
  • Banner Day

    Initially, on March 17, 1970, following the creation of the Detroit Gay Liberation Movement a few weeks earlier, both students and members of the larger community came together to initiate the U-M chapter of the Gay Liberation Front. This image was typical of the time, as LGBTQ+ students found their collective voice on campus.

    Students in 1987 with Gay Pride banner
  • Safe space

    Pictured here is former Spectrum Center director Ronnie Sanlo (far right) with three students. “I discovered early on that students needed somebody to listen to them without judgment,” Sanlo says. “I wanted them to know they always had a safe place and a safe person with whom they could talk.” Early staffers were called human sexuality advocates. This achievement was monumental, in that it was officially the first staff office for queer students in an institution of higher learning in the United States.

    Spectrum crew with Rainbow flag
  • Sign language

    By early 1973, the office had formed its first speakers bureau, which consisted of gay male and lesbian students and members from the community. They worked with other student groups to educate U-M students concerning gay and lesbian issues. These students did their part and let their signs do the talking.


    Students with signs about being gay
  • Ribbon cutting

    Spectrum Center founder Jim Toy and Ryan Bradley cut the ribbon at the Jim Toy Library. The JTL holds more than 1,500 titles, including books, videos, and magazines. Books are organized by genres such as “Coming out,” “LGBTQ History,” and “Transgender.”

    Jim Toy at ribbon cutting of Spectrum Center
  • Lavender graduation

    The annual Lavender Graduation, also referred to as LavGrad, is a celebration to honor LGBTQ+ graduates. Established by Ronni Sanlo in 1995, U-M’s LavGrad was the first commemorative event of its kind celebrated at an institution of higher learning.

    LGBTQ+ student enjoys Lavendar Graduation
  • Oral histories

    The Spectrum Center launched the University of Michigan LGBTQ+ Oral History Project in fall 2021. Jess Jackson, MBA/M.ED, a multimedia designer, community architect, educator, and healing practitioner, contributed her story to the project. Through the oral histories, creators hope to establish a queer sense of intergenerational connection, while elevating LGBTQ+ voices and experiences. 

    Spectrum Oral History Project graphic element
  • Activism at its best

    U-M student activists Xochi Sánchez, Parker Kehrig, and Lio Riley attended the MBLGTACC annual conference in Madison Wisconsin in October to promote the University of Michigan LGBTQ+ Oral History Project. With Spectrum Center as their home base, these youthful activists continue the important work begun by Jim Toy and his early collaborators.
    Activism at its best